Over the weekend, I went to a local club and tried my first attempt with a bow and arrow. I’ve always loved the idea of archery, a sport strongly connected with the earth and our heritage. It’s always struck me as romantic in some way. I’ve also always held the belief that I would never cut it as an archer; that my physical limitations would make it impossible for me to manage the bow. Visions of dislocated shoulders and elbows came to mind and stopped me in my tracks.
So, I was delighted when, after watching my husband, John, have his session with a tutor, one of the other volunteers at the club suggested I give it a try. “I’m concerned about my shoulder. I’m rather prone to dislocations” I told him, apologetically. “Well, let’s give it a try with this very light bow and see how it feels. You might surprise yourself.” he said.
In truth, that was the moment I made the choice that I could do it. “You might surprise yourself” he’d said. Such a simple phrase; and one that I realised applied to most things I do, on a daily basis. I’ve surprised myself with so many things that I now take for granted that I can do. Things I was told I would not, could not, should not do. Surely this was just one more string to my bow? (thanks to Liz Bisson for this fabulous pun and inspiring the title for this blog)
So, I took up the bow, which was much lighter than expected. I pulled back the string and found it required far less effort than I had anticipated. And when I took my first shot, managing to control my normal shaking with deep breaths, I almost jumped for joy as the arrow sailed through the wind and found the target (well, the very outer edge of the target to be exact).
With careful and patient coaching, I fired 18 arrows and I loved every moment. I felt something I have not experienced since my days of competitive swimming; a real sense of exhilaration and adrenalin. And a huge sense of achievement too. I’d chosen to change my belief about my ability again and I’d found I was capable of something new. I’d surprised myself.
I’m joining the archery club. I’m so excited about the prospect of learning and developing this new string to my bow.
Which bow will you choose?